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Treatment for Shingles


Treatment for Shingles

Treatment for Shingles

Treatment for shingles is necessary when you develop a rash on the skin that is painful. Shingles tends to form in a small area in a band or strip like manner. This is often on a single side of the body or face. This condition is caused by the varicella zoster virus and it is also known as herpes zoster.

Shingles is more rampart in older adults whose immune systems have been weakened. Injuries, stress and other factors can weaken the immune system.  Most individuals that get shingles recover after getting herpes zoster treatment and it never recurs.

When the virus responsible for chicken pox reactivates in the body, it leads to shingles. After recovery from chicken pox this virus usually remains dormant. It positions itself at the root of the nerve responsible for sensation. In a number of individuals, the virus will remain dormant forever.

Apart from disease, stress, a weak immune system and some medicines can trigger or reawaken the virus.  When this happens, the herpes zoster virus causes shingles and not chickenpox. Shingles is not transmitted from one person to the next. However there is a minute chance of a person contracting this virus in some cases. This can happen when the candidate has neither had chickenpox, nor any shingles lifetime vaccination.

In the first stage of shingles symptoms, you may experience a headache or sensitivity to light. You may feel like you have a flu without the fever. At a later time, you may experience tingling, itching or some pain in a particular area. That particular area will develop the band or strip of rashes later on.

The rash will then morph into clusters of blisters. These blisters then get packed with fluid and crust over. The blisters will take about 2 to 4 weeks to heal leaving a dark scar behind. Some individuals may have a slight rash while others may have none at all.

Changes in your vision, your thinking capacity and dizziness or weakness are indicators that point to the likelihood of shingles. Long-term pain or a rash on the face are other possible symptoms of this condition. Such symptoms require immediate  treatment for shingles from a health care professional.

Treatment Options for Shingles

Treatment for Shingles

Treatment for Shingles

Medications are part of the  treatment for shingles. Antiviral and pain medications are some medicines used to treat shingles. Beginning your antiviral dose immediately can save you a lot of pain and is part of your rash drug treatment. So, as soon as you discover you have shingles, make a beeline for your doctors office.

Good home care is also a vital for shingles blister care. Look after your skin sores and keep them hygienic. Stay on your medications and in case your pain is disrupting your life, inform your doctor.  Your doctor may prescribe pain medication or recommend an over-the-counter pain medicine.

Although no cure exists for shingles, treatment for shingles  may shorten the span of illness and prevent any complications. Relief antiviral medicine cuts short the pain and duration of shingles, Shingles pain relief medications are helpful in relieving long-term pain. These may include antidepressants and any topical cream that soothes skin.

Natural remedies for shingles also exist. These include peppermint and capsaicin. Other shingles natural  treatment options are geranium oil and acupuncture.

Treatment Procedure for Shingles

Your initial treatment for shingles begins immediately you discover you have shingles. You may get antiviral prescriptions from your doctor. Commencing this medications within the first 3 days of noticing the rashes is very important. This reduces your chances of complications such as post-herpes neuralgia.

Acyclovir, famciclovir and Val-acyclovir are the most common antivirals used to treat shingles rashes. These ease off much of the pain and cut down on the duration of shingles attack. Topical antibiotics are also available that can be applied directly to arrest the infection of blisters.

Treatment for Shingles

Treatment for Shingles

In severe cases, doctors may combine antivirals and corticosteroids in the treatment of shingles. However, this traditional trend is currently very rare. Current research finding reveal that corticosteroids do not enhance the  performance of antivirals.

Post-herpetic neuralgia PHN, requires ongoing treatment for shingles. Post-herpetic neuralgia is the most common complication posed by shingles. This complication can be diagnosed by your doctor if your pain lingers on for over a month after the rash heals. PHN can result in pain that spreads over many months or even years. 10 to 15 percent of all shingles sufferers get this shingles complication.

Tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline are used in the  treatment for shingles  to ease post-herpetic neuralgia. Benzocaine is an over-the-counter topical anesthetic that can be applied directly on the skin to ease shingles pain.  Lidoderm is an example of lidocaine patches that are only available by prescription.

Ongoing treatment for shingles can also involve anticonvulsants like pregabalin and gabapentin. Opioids like codeine can also be used to ease post-herpetic pain. Capsaicin is an active ingredient used in many topical creams to relieve pain. Capsaicin is derived from chili peppers and should be handled with caution as it can burn or irritate the skin in some individuals. Qutenza is a post-herpetic neuralgia skin patch that is only available through prescription.

Long-term Treatment for Shingles

Treatment for Shingles

Treatment for Shingles

Shingles has the capacity to cause long-term complications in some instances. In such cases, the  treatment for shingles  depends on the particular complication.  Some shingles complications include:

  • Disseminated  zoster: This is characterized by a blistery rash covering a wide area of the body. The lungs, heart, liver, joints, pancreas, and intestinal tract may get affected by this rash. The treatment for shingles in this case may involve antivirals to halt the multiplication of the virus. Antibiotics may also be used to stop infection.
  • Herpes zoster ophthalmicus is associated with a rash over the forehead, nose, cheek and surrounding one eye. This could pose a grave risk to your eyesight. Immediate ophthalmologic attention should be sought for this condition. Treatment may also include antiviral medicines, cold presses and rest.
  • In some cases, the shingles virus may affect cranial nerves or nerves originating from the brain. This can be accompanied by serious complications touching on the nose, eyes, face and brain. In such cases  treatment for shingles  is determined by the location and nature of the complications involved.
  • Post-herpetic neuralgia is pain that persists for months or even years after the rashes have healed. However, most PHN complications resolve within one year.  Anticonvulsants Opioids, and antidepressants are used in the treatment for shingles in such cases to relieve pain.
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